Entering the final few months of his three-season stint with Barcelona, there wasn’t much Thierry Henry hadn’t seen (or done) in the game of football. When you’re sharing a dressing room with a peak Lionel Messi, however, there’s always the possibility of witnessing something mindblowing.
Having secured his legacy during a sparking eight-year spell at Arsenal – winning the Premier League twice and becoming the Gunners’ all time record goalscorer in the process – Henry moved to Camp Nou for €24 million in June 2007.
A 1998 World Cup winner with his native France, Henry also enjoyed great success with the Blaugrana, lifting two La Liga titles, as well as the Champions League in 2009.
Despite being one of the greatest players of his generation, Henry was still visibly astounded by the ability of Barca colleague Messi following the Argentine’s sublime solo goal against Real Zaragoza in March 2010.
Messi bagged a hat-trick as part of a 4-2 victory for Barcelona, but it was his second strike of the evening that left the fabulous Frenchman in awe.
Henry himself had quite the reputation for individual brilliance. This cracker from Messi, though, was on a level all of its own.
Picking the ball up just inside the Zaragoza half, the diminutive Messi somehow fought off the attentions of midfielder Ander Herrera and easily skipped past another opponent.
The Barca star then darted towards goal, but still had two defenders looking to prevent him from getting a strike away.
Even for a player as gifted as Messi, the odds seemed against him, with the Zaragoza duo favourites to dispossess the forward.
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Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, however, was not to be denied. In an act of technical wizardry, he twisted and turned to evade his opposition before unleashing a left-footed strike into the bottom corner.
An example of Messi at his unplayable best, this was a joy to watch. Henry’s reaction from the Barcelona bench at the time confirms we’re not alone in that opinion either.
Watch: Thierry Henry’s reaction to Lionel Messi’s superb solo goal v Zaragoza in 2010
Henry has previously stated that his favourite Messi goal was a similarly spectacular effort against Malaga. However, his initial response to that goal was never caught on camera.
Against Zaragoza, though, cameras caught the open-mouthed Frenchman with his hands on his head in disbelief at what he had just witnessed when producers panned to an ecstatic Barca bench.
When you can elicit this sort of astonishment from one of the finest dribblers the game has ever seen, you know you’ve produced something very special.
Scored in the midst of an unmatched four-year streak of Ballon d’Or crowns, Messi truly was majestic during this portion of his iconic career.
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